Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What did K get for Cjristmas?

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I'll give you one guess... yep


I think it might have been dinosaurs :o)

Meanwhile, back to the knitting, and These are the wrist warmers I made in a black acrylic (washes well) for my niece, Immi.


They were adapted from the pattern at knitty. The Voodoo pattern was changed slightly by knitting together 2p over the thumb hole 3 times so that the new pattern would read k2 p1 k2 p1 k2 and then return to a normal k2 p2 rib for the rest of the hand. I also made them a little longer here so that they go up the fingers further. DD likes them and wants some too, so they must be ok :o)

Very hard to photograph black and especially when all your models are in bed. Haven't heard whether the recipient liked them but the shawl went down well. Grandma says her mother had a bed jacket just like it which she still has but is too shabby to wear so she was very pleased with a new one. I was pleased with this little bit of family history and the idea of bed jackets in general :o)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

george & nancy

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Despite all indications to the contrary it is never my intension to give you blurred photographs. It's just a natural talent I have *rolls eyes* must do better for 2007 VBG

This is the scarf I have made for George (DH's 'Uncle') it is a mock cable and knitted in a chunky yarn. This was a big change from the lace knitting I have been doing (and dreaming of ding) for the last little while and the 4 ply scarf I knitted last. My fingers protested after a while so I had to stop and stretch them several times and one evening put it away altogether mindful that if I continued I might be in pain the next day. But prudence paid dividends.

The yarn was given to me by Nancy (George's other half) and also a dear friend who made me very welcome when I first moved here 5 years ago. Can it really be that long? Time flies.

So for Nancy I am half way though making a pair of socks


These are a tube sock which I hope will be easy to put on as Nancy has arthritis in all her joints :o( They are again in yarn donated by her and in a DK heathery shade which I have photographed poorly (again!) The bok is one of my christmas presents to myself. The pattern is in it, yes it is much more than a sweater book VBG 2 x 2 rib for cuff then 4 x 4 twisted rib without any shaping down to the toe decrease. This in contrast to the scarf was an easy knit and grew very quickly and I have yet to make the twin, I estimate 2 evenings work to finish that. Then we will pop round to share our seasonal good wishes.

Whilst on the topic of good wishes you could do worse than visit Stephanie's web site . Make a donation to MSF and spread a little of our good will a little further.

I have been blessed with a very good year, I really hope I will be able to tell you much more in the early new year, for now, think positive things for me on January 5th please. I don't like to open my Christmas presents before Christmas, it's not auspicious. (sp?)

Meanwhile I am sewing agin and enjoying every minute. But I still need more hours or faster fingers!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sock yarn jumper

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Another jumper for littlest one, in Opal Rainforest Flamingo (4 ply sock yarn) pattern is from the Patons 'A Proncess Tale' book. Unblocked because she had to put it on NOW which was very gratifying :o)

On a sadder note, the bag o' bones cat is no more, he has gone to a windowsill somehwere far away, yep, he kicked the bucket , etc. Fill in Monty Python lines are you see fit a la dead parrot sketch. I feel relieved i don't have to decide whether he has to go now or not. He had one bad wobbly day, laid down on his cushion at the end of that day, went to sleep and never woke up. poor puss, a fighter. The vet said it was a minor miracle he made it for s long as he did becuase when they did his blood test he was 'bad' and that was a month or more ago. Never complained and was purring on DD's lap up until that evening despite feeling so unwell. We had a little funeral in a copice near our house, on the sunny side of the valley. RIP old puss cat, I still look for you when I put the food down.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Finished Cobweb shawl


Here it is, rescued from being finished upside down :o)

The one thing I would do differently (as well as not doing it upside down) next time is to pick up more stitches for the icord edging as this was a little tight and means the neck edge is a little too short so that the shawl hangs longer at the back than at the front. I'll get DD to pose later for a 'wear it' shot. But all in all, an easy pattern to knit, my first go at kniting on a border went fine (once I did it on the correct edge *rolls eyes*) and the icord edging is very satisfying. For speed I tried to add a crocheted edge instead of the icord, but it looked pants, probably because the edge had been stretched by my knitting the wrong edging onto it and then frogging the mohair (argh!).

Apart from that, thank you Kerrie for prompting this project and I will do another one in a finer yarn at a later date.

Now I need to wrap it up to give to sis who will be here v soon, must go show the hoover to the carpet, either that, or make her stand in the street to drink her coffee :o)

Oh P.S. Check out the pre and post blogging photos, I think blocking is the new black, everything gets blocked from now on! :o) Especially taking into account the yarn is nearly all acrylic (about 10% mohair I think - now if I could find where I put the label) and the icord was too tight so it wouldn't stretch much.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

shawl with a fringe on

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Dee, do not be discouraged, look it's fixed! I tinked it all back and reknitted it correctly this time :o) Currently it's in the bath with the wool wash waiting me to begin the blocking, the bloking, the blocking (to be said in a hreat of darkness manner).

So looking good for a take away tomorrow when little sis comes after all. Depends how long it takes to dry,.

The yarn is from my stash, mainly acrylic but some mohair in the mix and annoying to frog :o( but lovely turquoise colour. Looking good enough to eat before the blocking so I have high hopes. Pattern, easy peasy to knit and repeats easy to memorise. Got bored after 6 repeates of the last section so could have been longer, (pattern suggests 7 1/2 repeats.)

Dee, the error was mine not the patterns, comes from not being very good at visualising *rolls eyes* the finished project. I think the original pattern would benefit from a better photograph, wasn't sure why Kerry chose to do this one, except she already had one so she knew what it was like. The real object is mush lovlier than the photo on MagKnits which doesn't sho any detail of the shawl.

Anyway off to gently squeeze out as much water as possible, want this baby dry for tomorrow am, sis arrived at 10am and this has to go on the living room rug tonight. Btw, sis is bringing 2 little kids too so I need to have it up off the floor before they arrive.

Excited, this is my forst blocking!

Friday, November 24, 2006

I can do that ... can't I?

Well, no actually, I can't.

Had a bad knitting day? Me too! It started well :o) I was zipping along, but I'd better take you back to the real beginning

A few days ago I read on Kerry's blog that she was doing this shawl cobweb. so I thought, "that looks easy" (first mistake).

Indeed it was, as I knitted I checked back with Kerry and lo and behold a photo of the finished item looking gorgeous.

Encouraged I plodded on. I've never knitted a border onto anything before so I was amazed at how straightforward it was. (mistake 2)

I have never knitted and icord on as an edging before so I was amazed at how easy that was too. (mistake 3)

I was just complementing myself on my excellent knitting. (mistake 4)

As the icord went on and the circle of lace came off the needle and began to open up I began to have misgivings.

Wasn't that lacy bottom edging a little too short?

Wasn't the icord knitting up a bit too tight to let the circle spred out properly?

Hang on wasn't I knitting this thing ...


Yes, you've guessed. I have knitted the lace edge that is supposed to go around the bottom onto the top, and the icord that is supposed to go on the top around the bottom!

I briefly considered leaving it like that and pretending that I meant to do it Hey, grandma is 92 she wouldn't complain But no, if a thing is worth doing, then i's worth doing properly, right? And upside down is not right.

So moral number 1 - it helps to know which edge is which when knitting lace. And
moral number 2. this shawl is knit from the centre neck down, not from the centre back up and it's a good idea to know that before you begin.

So here's some photos of the offending (or offended) item.


All tinkied back to reality from the laternate universe it crossed into :o) and another thing I learnt today is that it's not easy to tink mohair *shudders*

Here's the start (another restart got it wrong again!) of the edging.


Ah well, guess I wont have it ready for Sunday when my sis comes for coffee before heading back off down south. I was hoping to give her all the family pressies to take back with her and save myself the postgae, but I may well still be knitting this one.

You gotta laugh!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And today I am mainly getting presents

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Two rows arrived this morning - an excess of riches, lucky me :o) Thank you to Jane and Spooky from the row by row quilt group. Spooky sent the holly and the lettering is from Jane, aren't they great? It's all looking really Christmassy round here, even though the actual quilt will have to be for next year, I can still enjoy it this season as it hangs in my living room on the 'wall'. Deck the halls with boughts of holly tra la la la la... :o)

Also to day the new interweave mag arrived. I was going to hoover this afternoon, but now, well that's me for the afternoon, puzzling over yarn substitutions and ooohing and ahhhing :o)

happy happy happy.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

posh stash - too much?

posh stash
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I only said too much to get your attention! Is it possible to have too much?

I was looking for some laceweight to start a new project (it's Kerry's fault) and I 'found' all these purchases from Posh Yarn. How did they get there? The yarn fairy must have been using my Credit Card again! ooops *blushes*

There seem to be 3 lace weight, 3 same but silky, 3 lots of sock yarn, 2 lots of DK krinckly stuff - think I need to get another of these so i have 3 of each :o)

Just in case you think I only ever buy it and don't knit it here's a photo of the laceweight shawl (used flash to show the lace, sorry about the glare!)

lace shawl

I last worked on this at the end of September, just shows what October and November have been like *rolls eyes* The pattern is the free one which came with the Posh Yarn Lace Club membership and Dee says it's easy *shocked expression*. It may be easy if you do it in the lace that came with that months yarn, but if you, for no known reason, cast on in a cobweb lace and this is yout first ever full size laceweight project then it's not! Oh NO! It is great though, it's like knitting sewing thread *shudders* except of course it's soft and scrummy thread :o)

Took this out today and looked at it and fell in love again so I will be lacing tonight.

As to what to do with the rest of the stash... any suggestion? Polite ones only please and I have already discounted sleeping in it :o)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Knitting has me in it's spell!


Here's the most recent work on the cqrr. Finally this block is on it's way. I am ashamed to say I have had this block since August! *hangs head in shame* Can't believe it's been lurking around here for soooo long. In my defence I got three blocks in that parcel and the other two went off a little sooner (but not much to be honest *blushes*)

This has set me to wondering why. Why has my focus shifted so much this year away from the cq and to knitting? A lot of it has to do with the ammount of preparation and thought that goes into cq. Finding the enthusiasm and getting into the right 'headspace' for want of a better phrase is essential for sewing, for me at least. The books I pour over when deciding which seam treatment to use and what motif to apply, the clutter that has to be unpacked and repacked for each small section of sewing, my table looked like a battlefield!

The reward for that effort is the peace and meditation that a deep focus brings, a feeling of contentment, hopefully if all goes to plan.

Knitting on the other hand, is easy, pick it up, put it down, zombie in front of the tv. Once the pattern is choosen then you knit. If it goes wrong you unknit and reknit, simple!

I can knit in a bad mood and in a good.

I can knit on my sofa and in meetings.

I can knit even when I don't feel like doing anything.

In fact i don't like not doing anything because my hands have gotten so used to knitting that they feel empty without needles in them.

Some knitting true, requires a great deal more attention than I am giving credit for here. Lace requires a clear head and a good ammount of sleep the night before. But not the ss knitting I have been doing. And the lace is a treat for good nights when I have a little more left at the end of the day. Haven't worked on that for a couple of months.

This has been a very demanding year. I remember January resolutions about clearing sewing UFOs - not one done, not one even started. This was in total disregard of wht else has been going on in my life this year. More of that another time :o)

Yarn has other delights to tempt of course as all the retail therapy options are huge. Fabric stash reached capacity long ago now yarn stash is doing the same :o) So when I cannot knit I can still shop!

Why do I choose to knit? Maybe this is the key, it's about mental resources, physical tiredness and attention span. And now, it is the end of another day and I am tired again so I guess it is back t that little jumper for the 3 yr old, knitting zombie, here I come!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Look what I got! Look what I got!

wheel1My Wheel!

Well, more acurately look what my Mum & Dad have got, cos it's at their house 200 miles away, but it's mine all mine Muwahhaha!

Can't believe it. Now, if my sis can fit it in her car (little chance but maybe) then it'll be coming north at the end of the month.

i coverted and hoped and wished and it came true.

it's an Ashford traditional and I got it through eBay, sort of. Linzi of Alpaca Spinner sells new wheels and her website (which I got to via eBay) said she occasionally has second hand wheels so I emailed asking if she had any at the moment. No, she said she doesn't really do them any more as you can't make any money on them once you've done them up. But ... she did have one which needed some cosmetic work on it and was alright to spin with and ... I could have it if I could collect it.

Well, i couldn't but my lovely Mum & Dad were going to see my lovely grandma on Wednesday and she lives in Northampton and linzi lives near Northampton and the rest, as they say, is history. AND it was a real bargin, everyone connected with spinning that I have come across so far has been very kean to encourage new spinners, I am encouraged!

So I am happy bunny doing a happy dance and practicing my drop spindling to get better at drafting and buying books on spinning, because, obviously, the one thing I have to have is more books :o)

My Dad got a demonstration from Linzi so i've sent him some roving so he can have a play whilst he waits for the transport to take it away.

meanwhile I am just such a happy bunny, shame I'm not angora or I could collect my own fluffy fur!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

linda's row

linda's row
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

With one of my other hat's on I am a quilter. So when I am not knitting I sew. Here's the row I just finished for a row by row round robin. Late again! Even later than the last few I'm afraid, but finished at last and in the post to Australia a.s.a.p.

My next row is for Belle, and involves Angels :o) i have some patterns all sorted out.

Before then I have a cqrr to GET A MOVE ON WITH! *sighs!* I really should learn to multi-task with my sewing. I can have several knitting projects on the go at once quite happily but for some reason I can't get my head round doing the same with sewing. I am compelled to finish one before I turn to the next. Anyway, I feel aload off my shoulders now Linda's row is completed so I can get stuck in to the cq :o) Hope to have that on it's way by the weekend.

Knitting is different. Why? Probably because it is more portable, and easier to pick up and put down as the demands of Mrs 3 years intrude. Possibly because I can slob on the sofa (apart from the lace knitting which I sit at the table to do as I need the pattern more) and relax, and also mostly because although I give a lot if it away or knit it for other people it is essentially a solitary persuit. Other than the sock swap I haven't knitted anything for exchange on the forum.

I should give you a look at the sock swap socks too, shouldn't I. Well, I will - soon. :o)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

This week I have ...

...made littlest one a hat from the same yarn as big DD's (but without the skull and cross bones), done one mitten for her (she'll have to keep the other hand in her pocket), drop spindled a small ball of yarn (it's too puny to show you), and finished my Bertie scarf (long neglected WP - badly needs blocking).

Also added to the gansey (which is taking FOREVER) and looked at my lace shawl (yes, it still looks like it's not finished!) I have stared to sew the row I need to send to Aus for Linda, thought about the work I have planned for tomorrow on the CQRR.

And I have nearly bought a spinning wheel! How wierd is that, not enough hours in the day for my knitting and now iwant to spin too - crazy woman! Must be mad, next I will be getting a sheep, or maybe Alpacas, or just a few little bunnies :o) Well, it keeps ME happy, how about you?

Piccies to follow, batteries flat Doh!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I haven't been lazy - M's Hat

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

First a picture of the hat, now a picture of the DD


Pattern from here. and skull & cross bones chart from here.

Knitted in cheapo DK for the Co-op She chose the colours something to do with Emo? Don't ask me I just do the knitting. Only tok a couple of hours too, Might make one for me as the weather if foecast to get cold this week. Without the skull of course VBG Maybe a yarn & needles motif or two? Ok only kidding :o)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another finish-ish HURRAY

colinette 1
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

The ish is because I can't decide whether to add buttons or not. As this will mainly be worn aroud the house I could live without them, but on the offchance that I decide to WOW the public :o) (hope they've got their sunglasses).

The pattern is from the Colinette Graffiti book and it is in Florentina colourway, graffiti yarn (obviously).

The HURRAY bit is that it has been sitting unfinished in the corner of my front room for a year (I originally wanted to complete it for last winter!) and it is now a FO not a UFO.

By the way, if I stood up straight, breathed in and wore a bra I wouldn't be that shape, I'd be thinner - honest - well, I believe it, but at this time of night (23.29) none of those are likely so you'll just have to have me cuddly and cozy, like my new cardi :o)

This, by the way is the back

colinette 2

Thursday, October 19, 2006

alien cloth

alien cloth
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Told you I liked that pattern :o)

odd ball swap

odd ball
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I must begin by appologising for the truely appauling photo. I should have taken it during daylight, except I'm not sure we had any daylight today as it was so dull and overcast all day! But the attempt at a photo with flash was even worse so please be glad you can see it at all ...

As I cannot help bossing people about and I had missed out on joining the secret summer santa on Angel Yarn's Forum I organised an odd ball swap. Odd balls from stash up to 100gm and copyright free pattern (or from stash) for said balls if possible. Additional pressie if desired up to the value of £5 and no more.

It seemed this might not be as successful as I had hoped, for two reasons. Firstly, and most dimmly, I forgot to put myself in the swap! well, I ask you! But that aside, everything seemed okay until near the end when one swapee contacted me to say she hadn't heard from her swap receiver and could I check she'd got the goodies in case they were lost in the post. No response from swapee. Then the deadline came and went with no parcel for the partner she was suposed to swap with. Oh dear, sad odd ball swapee and sad odd ball swap organiser. So I did the decent thing (all swaps should have an angel just in case of a no show) and sent a swap to the sad swapee.

But today I am happy again. And again for two reasons.

Firstly, another Angel forum member was very sweet and we did a straight swap of odd balls (see photo above) Happy numer 1, and, also the missing swaper has turned up. She had a genuine reason for being late and unable to email to say why and has now posted her swapee's odd balls and publically thanked her sender too.

So all is well that ends well and I am happy too. So nice when people don't let you down.

Oh and did i say my postman brings the nicest things?

I'm off to cast on an Alien Cloth - a little light relief from the lace shawl and gansey. Did I say I wanted to knit stocking stitch? Did I really say that? VBG

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

gansey what gansey?

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Todays blog will be part of this project at history matters.

I've finished the rib, (2x2) 3" of it, and I am having doubts, big doubts! It seems awfully small, ladies, awfully small. I did my swatch, tension 'square', I even remembered to do it in the round as that's how the Gansey is traditionally knitted, so no seams. I measured my man - that was the best bit :o) - and worked out how many stitches, so why is it so small? I am using the longest cord left on my Boye's needlemasters. I say left because I managed to snap the fastenings on the longer one the first time I used them ... put them on the bed (yes, dear reader I knit in bed!) and then promptly knelt on them. The very first time too, I could have spit! But I didn't, of course, I was getting into that bed after all :o). So maybe the smallness is due to the shortness of the cord? I hope.

But this is a very stretchy rib so although it looks at the moment as if it would fit one of littlest DD's dolls I shall press on and knit a little further. After a little stocking stitch I will remeasure my tension and probably change to bigger needles. *sigh!* or maybe frog and start again *even bigger sigh!*

The next section is oceans of stocking stitch. Lovely mindless telly watching thoughtless stocking stitch. After the last jumper (double moss stitch, rememer that one? the prospect of stocking stitch is bliss. Ask me again in a week and I will probably hate it *rolls eyes*

But in the meantime I press on. Initials to be added in Purl after 1/2" and the faux seams to remember. Having read the yarn harlot's dilema over these seams and all the advice I have decided to be boreing and safe and use stitch markers as I can see myself sailing merrily past the seam at every round. Remembering I knit after the kids are in bed, often after my freelance part time other job, and when the day is over (actually managed a row and a half whilst watching CBeebies with Mrs 3 yrs this afternoon!) so paying close attention is not on the cards.


Happy stocking stitching to you all. Good night!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

gansey for DH

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I've started! Here's the makings. 2 cones of the gansey wool (navey blue- of course), 5 ply


I knitted a swatch /tension square*shock, gasp, pass the smelling salts* well more of a tension tube really as I am knitting in the round so i did the swatch in the round too. Started off with US #6 needles (4mm) and it was going to be a string vest! So I switched to the smallest needles in my Boyes needlemaster set. (They're pretty).

Swatch suitable 6 1/2 stitches per inch.

Dh has 40" chest + 2" for ease. I know Gansey's are supposed to be tight but I don't trust my tension enought to be brave enough to try for skin tight *wanders off to thik about DH in skin tight, shakes self and wanders back* Where was I, oh yes, (imagines DD saying "er, old people love, ergh"

42 x 6.5 = 273 stitches round down to 272 to get a number divisible by 4 for a 2 x 2 rib.

Cast on 272 stitches on ridiculously small US #2 needles (2.75mm). Look at all those stitches on those tiny needles and wonder why exactly I thought this would be a good idea?

K2 P2 for 3 " - still doing this bit. When using large numbers of stitches on previous projects (lace) I did at least have the promise of K2tog to decrease into a nice shawl shape. *sigh* 272 it is then, how many rows? I'll let you know :o)

So to keep you amused whilst I knit here are the booksthat made me think I could do this, naughty books, nad, evil tempting boks that made me imagine that I should do this VBG


These books can be bad for your stash decreasing health, it would be much quicker to knit more kiddie cardies or a few pairs of socks.You have been warned!

Talking of socks, swap socks for Angel Yarns forum are tinked, frogged and reknitted, both now the same length at least :o) so ready to post very soon.

Meanwhile I have been thinking about my cq ... more later when I have actually done some sewing :o) I think I may find a few distractions to 'help' me knit my gansey. He'd better love it to bits after all the effort I am thinking it is going to take *Manic light glints in corner of mad eye* I guess this is what they call a labour of love. *sigh!*

Friday, October 13, 2006

gansey beginnings

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Here's the book, it's arrived! Don't tell anyone I had actuallyforgotten that I'd ordered it! Doh! Second hand from America, couldn't get a copy here. But it's here. Is there still enough time to design and knit a Gansey for DH for christmas? Who kows, but guess who is going to find out. I can see myself last minute panic buying for DH this year :o) But, I might just get it done in time.

So plan 1 clear the decks of all other projects - (must finish those socks for the swap *rolls eyes*)

Step 2, get all the books yarn and needles together, dither a bit, as is my wont (want?) and

Step 3 knit like you never knitted before i.e. without interruptions. Kids, tea is in the pizza shop!

Later I'll show you the other books and yarn and then I'll have a go at explaining the design process - sounds ery grand but really consists of taking this bit of book A and adding this bit of book B before subtracting this bit of book C. Easy! Easy? Right? Well, we'll see.

Meanwhile, for anyone who gives a fig, I am writting up the purple T-shirt jumper pattern and it will be available to Angel Yarn's new forum/club/thingy members in the new year... just need to figure out how to scale it up and down for different sizes. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Ok off to find the other books...

PS lost my knitting Mojo by trying this cozy.. Frogged the thing last night. Couldn't stop thinking that lovely crean Arran should be knitted into a lovely cream Arran *raises eyebrows* sweater not a throw. Couldn't get on with the pattern, which couldn't be much shorter, but still confused me, poor old muddle brain that I am by the time littlest is in bed, so ... obviously what I need is a challenge, right? Come on, bring on the Gansey. Just wish I could find a Cullercoats pattern to look at. But no, STOP, I have enough books now,right? Need to reach a critical mass of books before I can do anything, but I have achieved critical mass in the Gansey book department. Ok, all engines are go. *heaven help me, walks off muttering about needle sizes*

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My postman brings the nicest things!

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

This morning I received a wonderful parcel with a row for the row by row swap quilt in it.

This row is from Belle, in Australia *waves madly to Belle* and the theme of my quilt is ... yes, you guessed, Christmas!

Also in my parcel were 3 knitting magazines, and some blackwork patterns and this


The colours on this photo are shocking and I appologies to David Bailey straight away. The work is black on white, but the flash bleached it out so you couldn't see a thing so we have a low light level compromise here. Belle found this in a charity shop and rescued it, then decided I might like it, which I do! Thank you Belle, very very much for all my lovely pressies.

All this bounty brings me to pondering on the nature of online friendships and the generosity of a person I have never met, and am unlikely to meet in person :( but with whom I have shared a great deal over the past months.

There is something very special about a friendship which is built around a shared interest and the ability to find someone on the otherside of the world with whom you feel a bond. With whom the serendipity of your circumstances is surprising.

I wonder too, sometimes, if it is because we have these friendships on our own terms that they are so prescious to us. We answer each other when we want to, we reveal what we choose to reveal and we refrain from telling what we don't want to be know. Our imaginations fill in for us the parts we need filled but do not ask or are not answered. This person becomes the perfect friend in many ways. Undemanding and reassuring by turns.

This might sound negative, and that is not how I mean it ...My point really is how wonderful it feels when that person does something that lives up to or exceeds the fantasy; when they show thought and care and a knowledge of your likes and interests. When they go beyond the image we have created they reveal themselves better than the thought we have of them in our heads.

In fact when they are a real friend.

Thank you, friend. :o)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thought for today

The good thing about having lots of projects on the go at once is you sometimes get to finish lots of things very close together.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

DD1's jumper

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Do you remember this? Mid August I was wondering what i had taken on. Following all the encouragement and reading books by Elizabeth Zimmermann, I decided I could knit a top in the round so there would be no sewing up at the end. After all the jumpers that lie unmade after the knitting is finished, and bearing in mind the romper suit still unfinished for DS (now 14) and the colinette cardi so nearly completed but stalled for over a year now, this seamed to be the ieal way for me to make a finished garment.

Writing down the pattern as I went, I had fond ideas of embarking on a design career in knitwear. Well here is the finished garment, after many changes and with the aid of the graph paper in the little Knitter's Design Journal by Debbie Stoller.



Said DD is modeling the finished top but was recalcitrant and refused to remove the scraggy old t-shirt that she had on before putting on the magical handmade item. I think she fails to treat it with due reverence already! But if you look past the baggy off white scruffiness you will see I made it with minimum shaping but the double moss stitch is drapy enough for her shape to show, yes, she is sticking her chest out, remember being 13? I do :o)

Things that worked(ish) :-

the no seams thing - big thumbs up
the stitch choice - looks nice but a bugger to knit, two hand movements for each stitch, thinking fondly of stocking stitch ;o)
the shoulder seam - 3 needle cast off - love it!
knitting sleeves down - worked because they are capped, not sure about shaping for loger sleeves
neck band in 1 x 1 rib - think I could have done a rib at the bottom too.

Things that didn't work :-

no shaping in the body - would reduce and increase at waist in future
length - my preference, not hers
writing a pattern - not sure anyone else could follow it as I know what I did, will have to 'test' this by making it available to someone else.

Overall? Pretty chuffed to have finished. DD happy cos I made it for her. I like knitting in the round.

Next big project? Well, I have the yarn for DH's Gansey so ... lots of stocking stitch.

Meanwhile WIP to see to. Lace to finish, socks to knit, cq to sew, and row by row of patchwork pieced tulips to assemble.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

here's a closer photo of the ties, easy pattern and quick to knit, bands knitted with the fronts, and the first time I have done both sleeves at once. So much easier, why haven't I done it like this before? I will again. Back to the lace, it's coming along, photo to follow...

K's cardigan finished

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

And ... sewn up straight away, which is something of a miracle VBG knitted in Opal sock yarn, parrot rainforrest colourway, pattern from Get Knitted. Changed the ties from icord to twisted starands.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

pinup's other block

pinup's other block
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Now this is a big cheat because it isn't 'sewing' as such but when I went to Pavi Yarns the other week they had these lovely checoslovakian (err not sure if they're chec or slovac?) glass buttons. I have been on the look out for something for Pinup's second block and these seem the perfect thing. So now there are dragonflies on both blocks Pinup :o) Both blocks are filling up nicely and the parcel, well padded , enought to protect the glass I hope, is ready for me to take to the post office in the morning. So look out Helen get your sunglasses out, they're bright. Not like that gloomy photgraph at all, but that's what you get when you try to photograph things at 11pm! *rolls eyes* Next up is Rozhearts block.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Well, here he is! King of Beasts, as you can see, fierce and fearless in the persuit of small rodents ... and as soft as clarts! This photo was taken when he was still a fat cat. As you can see he has managed to get his best side in the photo so you can't see just how fat he was, if only i knew how to do that. Mind you I am not usually photgraphed lieing on my back VBG Actually I am not usually photgraphed at all. But that is another story.

So, you may well ask, how is he? Worth his weight in gold! No one is allowed to do anything to this cat as I have invested a forune in him! I think the vets got the bill wrong by a couple of noughts. Really, I am going to ring them today as there are a couple of mistakes in it.

But healthwise he is much better. Tail up to greet me in the mornings and hissing and growling when little Miss Cat tries to nick his secial diet cat food. The logistics of feeding 3 cats when one of them is on a prescription diet are a whole new adventure. But the old bag of bones is feeling much better after his stay in the hospital and looks far less boney. Phew!

Sadly, now that he has renal failure, it is just a matter of time and how well the medication continues to work. But we will cross the next hurdle when we get to it :o)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

hope's row

hope's row1
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Here's the latest row in the row by row quilt swap I am in. This pattern is called magnolia buds and is from the 'quilter's cache' site. It is a week late going off but I have finally finished and I'm pleased with how it came out. Points are far from perfect, but hey!

My next row is for Linda. Haven't even begun to look at that, but cq is coming first :o)

Knitting? Not a stitch for days, cat is sick and I'm back and forth to the vets, poor love has renal failure, old bag of bones that he is (previously known as fatcat). He's in the 'hospital' on a drip :o( Big tears from DD. We wait and see if the treatment works.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

pavi stash

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Feeling very blissful this evening, must be the SEX


sorry immi :o)

This is what I bought on our forum group trip to Pavi Yarns. I also met 5 other ladies from the Angel Yarns Forum. It was lovely to meet people you 'chat' to every day and they are all great. Isn't it good that our crafting communities embrace so many different people and that by shareing the one thing we have in common, craft, that we learn how much else we share too.

So, 4 pattern books, 500g suri Alpaca *drool* some feza (totally mad yarn) a couple of variety thread packs for the cq, some dragonfly buttons also for cq, and some Australian wool wash. There are some beautiful kids patterns in the books so expect to see some of those in the future. The Feza, well it's a bit pricy but totally crazy! not sure why I like it, but I do. I'll try to get a closer picture in daylight tomorrow so you can see what i mean. The alpaca is probably destined for a shawl at some point, no yardage on the lables.

The lovely Karen & Paul at Pavi were excellent hosts, and very helpful with info about their stock, and made us all feel very welcome, thank you again. I showed Terri how to crochet which makes me think i should do some m,ore crochet :o) All in all a lovely day, made even better by DH's charming and supportive attitude in taking little one out for the day whilst I shopped till I dropped.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

clapotis finished

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

At last I can do something else!

Clapotis was compulsive, and I love the Lorn's Lace Black Purl, so i am wearing it now, without blocking. *shock horror - the knitting police will be round any minute!*

I thought I wasn't going to have enough yarn so I made it one repeat narrower but had plenty so made it one repeat longer and still had some over *sigh!* should just follow the pattern, right?! But, no, I am happy with the result and the extra length makes it lovely and cuddly.

Next one will be in the Noro Silk Garden that I bought originally to do this one in, pattern looks a lot more complicated than it really is once you get knitting.

Lots of sewing to catch up on so I am NOT casting on anything new, Not, I say, NOT. If I say it often and loud enough does that make it true? VBG.

Must finish DD's top as she has tutted in disgust at every session that went into the Clapotis. I'll get some better photos in daylight too as the flash really doesn't do that lovely yarn justice, but, Oh!, the price! No don't think about the price, just feel the quality, ladies, feel the quality.

birthday SEX planned for saturday coming, off to Pavi yarns for a rumage. Plastic needed, delay the pain whilst enjoying the gain, well ... it is my birthday, you know!


Monday, September 04, 2006

clapotis progress

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I think I haven't ordered enough yarn for my Clapotis (pattern at so i have done one less repeat for the increase rows. This will make it a little narrower than the patern but only by 12 stitches. I measured the length on the pattern and decided I needed every inch!
So far i have done 4 repeats of the straight rows. The back looks like this
clapotis2and you can see on this photo that I am following a tip I got on the Angel Yarns Forum. Instead of using stitch markers to indicate which stitches to drop I am purling that stitch on knit rows ad knitting it on purl rows. As this stitch will be dropped and unravel down to for the ladder it doesn't effect the final Clapotis but does make the knitting quicker.

I am using Lorna's lace Lion & Lamb which is beautiful and soft ad i love the colours (Black Purl) I am really looking forward to wearing this everywhere and with everything!

At the right of the photo above you can see the reverse riew of the ladder

and here is the right side view

with blocking the ladder will open up a bit, but i love it laready. Everything else has taken a back seat. ;o)

On the down side I can't get into my other forum and on the one occassion i did manage to get in it wouldn't let me reply to a pm so I have sent an email but the address is one I sometimes have trouble with. I hope you will know who you are and that I am trying to talk to you :o) Nothing important but a chat would be lovely. Hope you can feel the positive vibes in the meantime ROFLOL

Also in progress I should say that i am ready to pick up and knit the sleeves on DD's jumper but I tried late last night and ended up doing them inside out VBG so I've left that for now.

I haven't started my swapee's socks yet for the AY sock swap but I have everything ready to go. Another pair of socks still otn, bertie scarf half done, and various other bits and bobs.

i need to put the knitting down for a few days as I have some deadlines to meet for other things, you know, it seemed like a good idea at the time but now I am wondering ...

Plus teenage DS (the Aspie one) starts College tomorrow - wahoo - fingers crossed, it's a long story.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Black Purl LL

Black Purl LL
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

The Clapotis is begun! In Lorna's Lace Black Purl which is gorgeous in the flesh. Surprised to find it has green in though. Just wound the ball so far VBG but small steps.

DD's jumper is coming on, front done, back nearly there, shoulders will be 3 needle cast off. then pick up for the arms and knit short sleeves. Some kind of finish to the neck edge? Don't know yet, may crochet, possibly.

Someone asked about the pattern, it's called double moss stitch, any good directory of stitches will have it in. Once I am finally finished I will write up the pattern for DD's Top including the instructions for double moss stitch, watch this space but don't hold your breath.

Other news, can't get into the craft forum :o( but will try again tomorrow, need to update info about cqrr. My last parcel has now arrived but was opened by customs. Gulp! Hope they like spiders LOL

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Finally some cq!

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

At last I have made the time to do some cq on the round robin blocks that were here when I got back off holiday. The blocks are much brighter in real life - these photos were taken under artificial light.


I wonder if there any sewers with small children about who get to sew during daylight? ;o) Anyway, I added a couple of shisha mirrors and a bead trail. The 'mirrors' are in fact recycled CDs LOL.

and, on an unrelated and completely personal point, have you tried these mooncups ? I am a convert :o)

Oh dear

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

So I thought I could design knitwear eh? Well, maybe not


However, having decided that the rib section was a BAD idea, I have frogged and reknitted and just divided for the front and back a second time. I will not be beaten.

I have adistinct feeling DD wont wear it when it is done so I had better stick to my diet so I can get in it, because after all this knitting *note to self do not do whole jumper in double moss stitch EVER again* someone is beeping well going to wear the beeping thing :o( VBG

Friday, August 18, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

and last but not least . Bertie. hy can't I get going on this? Is it because the yarn is curling so, is it because it is for me so no deadline? Either way, all I have managed to do in recent weeks is to thread with beads and start the second ball and that's about your lot! Shame, the silk is so lovely to touch and I really should get this finished. Maybe it's beacuase I have so many other knitting WIP not to mention the CQ RR and the row by row and my huge pile of quilt UFOs, please don't mention them ;o)

posh lace

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

A simple lace pattern for my first go.

Well, first go apart from the aborted shawl (don't ask!)

but lace is hard!

It's hard because you have to concentrate on where you are in the pattern and it's easy to lose your place. Thank goodness for post it notes and how did our great grandmother's manage with gas and candle light? a good light is essential especially as it's impossible to do this with a 3 yr old under your feet so it's an after K's bedtime project which means tired eyes before i even begin.

Starting at the point seemed a great idea at first as the pattern was growing really quickly wich is good for the confidence, but after only 4 repeats the rows are taking a L-O-N-G time now and I am wondering how large this project will manage to get before i cast off and pretend it was a dolls shawl all along VBG